FULTON, Mo. - Five players scored in double figures for Westminster women's basketball to land a key victory over SLIAC opponent Iowa Wesleyan.
The Blue Jays improve to 12-10 overall and 7-6 in the conference, holding on to a fourth-place spot.
Westminster totaled 14 three-pointers in the game tonight, breaking the gameday team record. The prior record was 13, set three times in 2014, 2008, and 1992.
"I'm so happy with our performance tonight," said Westminster Head Coach James Arnold. "We trusted the game plan and more importantly, we trusted one another."
The opening minutes of the game was all Westminster in a hot shooting performance with four total three-pointers from Kendahl Adams, Kelsey Ray and Mikalyn Callahan before the halfway point in the quarter. At the 4:15 mark, Mirrakohl Johnson completed a three-point play to put Westminster up 17-9. Ray led the quarter for Westminster, hitting three three-pointers for nine of her 12 points.
"We've had our struggles against zone this season," said Arnold. "Tonight, it was good to see some perimeter shots drop, but I think the game rewards hard work. We worked really hard, and the jumpers fell."
Westminster continued to build on their double-digit lead in the second quarter with an 8-0 run on points scored from three different players.
The Tigers threatened to get back within single digits, but Adams hit a three-pointer with 2:36 remaining in the half to go up 41-28, starting a 16-0 run for the Blue Jays that would span into the third quarter. In the run, Westminster would hit four three-pointers, including three from Adams, to go up 54-28 with 8:19 remaining in the game.
The Blue Jays continued to go on runs, including an 8-0 run with under three minutes remaining in the third quarter that included another three-pointer from Ray and one from MaKayla Jackson. Lydia Hale ended the quarter with a three-pointer to make the score 72-44 going into the final quarter.
A three-pointer from Kendal Miller at the 7:17 mark gave the Blue Jays a 30-point lead for the first time in the game. Janhe Williams hit the final basket for Westminster to secure the game at 87-57.
Adams led all scorers with 19 points on 4-9 shooting from behind the three-point line. Grace Archambault added 10 points and 11 boards. Ray hit four three-pointers for 12 points, adding nine rebounds. Jackson scored 10 points while Johnson added 14 off the bench. Payton Beeler added important minutes for Westminster after returning from an illness.
"It was nice to get Peebs (Beeler) back on the floor for a few minutes," said Arnold. "I think that will really help our depth down the stretch and I am anxious to see her finish her senior year strong. Kelsey Ray, who will be graduating early, is really stepping her and game intensity up. It's the time of year where upperclassmen and particularly seniors can make a big difference."
Westminster goes on the road to face second-place Eureka in a key SLIAC mathcup Saturday at 1 p.m.